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Farm Bill Provision Will Disrupt California Medicaid and Food Stamp Programs
Date:2/29/2008

Over 40 million Needy Children and Adults to be Affected Nationwide, Study

Expects

WASHINGTON, Feb. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A survey released today by Spectrum Science Communications states that a little known anti-privatization measure in the current farm bill would critically harm California's ability to effectively administer its Medicaid and Food Stamp programs to over 10 million recipients. The measure, offered as an amendment to the House-passed Farm Bill by Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), would restrict all states from using non-profits and other private organizations in the administration of public assistance programs.

Over 40 million needy children and adults would be affected by the disruptions in service that would occur if the federal government takes away states' ability to partner with private firms and non-profit groups. Among those who would be affected are over 14 million enrollees in the Medicaid and The State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), 26 million food stamp recipients, and 1.9 million participants in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

"This provision will severely hamper the administration of hundreds of social services programs in the U.S., affecting 10 million Medicaid beneficiaries and two million food stamp recipients in California. CalWorks (TANF), which serves over 150,000 beneficiaries each year, will also be affected," said Audrey Spolarich of Spectrum Science Communications.

"As someone who has had to administer these programs to recipients, I can tell you first-hand how adversely impacted state governments will be if this provision passes," said former South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges. "In South Carolina and other states, important services like Medicaid and Child Support Enforcement depend on commercial and non-profit support. We can't let Washington play politics with the administration of these vital programs."

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SOURCE Spectrum Science Communications
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